New Safeguarding Independent Chair appointed13 Aug 2019 By Sam Setchell
The Bishop of Worcester has appointed Geoff Taylor-Smith as the new Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel.
Geoff will work closely with our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers as well as other external bodies to ensure safeguarding in the diocese is as effective as possible and subject to robust and independent scrutiny.
The Chair of the Safeguarding Advisory Panel acts as a critical friend to the diocesan safeguarding team. The Panel provides challenge to all those with responsibility for ensuring good safeguarding and protection practice in the diocese.The appointment of an Independent Chair demonstrates the commitment of the Church to ensuring that safeguarding is handled in a transparent and professional way.
Geoff is the Head of Children and Families for the YMCA in Worcestershire with responsibility for the strategic management and delivery of children and family services for the charity. In this role he is the designated safeguarding lead. Previously, Geoff held senior posts in several local authorities and most recently was an Assistant Director with Worcestershire County Council’s Children’s Services where he played a key role in the development and management of services for children and families. He was formerly a teacher after graduating from university and is a Foundation Director of St Nicholas Owen Multi-Academy Company, which comprises six Catholic schools.
Geoff said: “I look forward to working with colleagues to continue to improve the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults in the Diocese of Worcester. The safeguarding practices of the Church and other institutions are currently under intense national scrutiny. We must learn from the past and together ensure that we continue to make improvements for the good of this and future generations of children and adults”
On the appointment, Bishop John said: “We are committed to ensuring that our churches are a safe place for all and the Independent Chair of our Safeguarding panel plays a vital role in that. Geoff brings a wealth of experience which will be of real benefit to both our safeguarding team and those in our parishes.”